A Beaver Ate My Thumb!

Five North American Beavers (Castor canadensis) rest on top of their lodge in North Creek, Bothell, Washington.. Image shot 2012. Exact date unknown.
D44F1R Five North American Beavers (Castor canadensis) rest on top of their lodge in North Creek, Bothell, Washington.. Image shot 2012. Exact date unknown. BBC Earth

If you’re a fan of Gilmore Girls, you probably still won’t get that title. It was one of the folk songs people were singing when the town troubadour guy got a gig with Neil Young…Anyhoo!!

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For those of you playing at home, breathlessly awaiting news from my camp, moi finished her full length play! YAY!!!!

Sers-ssly. [Say that as if you’re a character on a CW drama set in the Middle Ages where everyone has their teeth and great skin and gym-honed bodies.] It’s two acts. 90 some pages. Pretty, professional-looking title page. Seven characters, all gals. No men. Hey!! Twelve Angry Men is all guys…or is it? It is!! I just checked. There are other plays with all male casts. Why am I on this…oh. Back to me me me now. My play, the Honest Women, is, ah, let’s call it a comedy.

Now, the first act is pretty conventional. Some women, in hell, trying to figure out why they’re in hell. Blah blah. There’s the sassy receptionist lady, Laura, who does everything she can not to actually help anyone! There’s Ulva, who’s smart but not a doer, per se. There’s Lejay, the firebrand and agitator. There’s Manda, the conservative mouthpiece and poor, gentle Ima, who’s Canadian. And two guards who don’t have lines…yet. But who wander back and forth through the landscape for no reason at all! Because when I wrote Act II and gave them actual purpose, I went back and added them into Act I.

Now, Act I ends with a soap opera-ish flourish. I had an abrupt, rather ‘normal’ ending to the first part of my not at all magnum opus and, as some of you might know, one of those ‘ideas’ attacked me. What if the lights came back up real sudden and we see the actors scrambling to get off stage and…? Ding ding ding!!!

Which left me with an actual cliffhanger to Act I!

Oh I had such fun writing this play. I wrote it in about a week. Which is fast or slow, depends on your own playwriting speed, my darlings. [Some people write like two or three pages a month. Some write twenty pages an hour. It DIFFERS.] I had that title for ages before I found the right set of words to go under it. I started a short story. I started a short play. I did not attempt a bad poem. I didn’t even consider a fiery essay about how fugly it is to be a girl these days. If you’ve dared go near my blog, you’re probably secretly relieved I’m not writing more essays. Orderly lining up of thoughts and ideas, yeah, that’s…yeah. Squirrel! [I still laugh at that dog in that movie, ah. Ah!]

 

I made up these names. Ulva, Ima, Lejay, Manda. I had Tara as well. Then I forgot I had a Tara and when I went back to check something on my cast list…went, oh, I forgot to add Tara into this and oh dear, combined her and another character and…so, buh bye, Tara! [Yes, yours truly forgot she had named a character.] ‘Tara’ became Ulva. Well, got absorbed into Ulva. Which is not that interesting but I feel I should attempt some sort of total disclosure here. For a play that probably won’t ever see the light of a badly attended stage reading somewhere in the outer burroughs of Boise, let alone a real city. [Joke. It was a joke. Calm down.]

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Yep. You write a play. You get all moist and happy. And…then you send it off and wait. Or you gather your friends [if you have any] and do a reading or try and stage it. But getting strangers to take a gander at it and take a chance on it…that’s akin to winning those fabled Irish sweepstakes. Now, granted, I did get a hit on another play of mine, Beatrice and the Puppies, a few years ago, down in Texas. Texas seems to really like my stuff. As does Florida. Oregon, not at all. Texas and Florida, you betcha. It’s the nature of the business. You toil in obscurity and utter poverty, unless you have a trust fund or a ‘real job’, such as international Illuminati banker for the globalist elite or perhaps dead animal removal technician. You get a bright spot every so often– someone gives you a ping back to something you sent off ages ago. Hey, we almost like this, you’re a runner up but we went with someone else but we still like your collection of words. [I have seriously gotten praise-rejection letters/emails like this. We love your stuff, keep writing and sending it in, yet we totally don’t want to go near your stuff with a ten foot pole right now. Hugs and smooches!]

I will give you an example of that: As you already know, we all get the dreaded rejection letters (myself included). The ones that start with “We appreciate the opportunity to read your work” or “Unfortunately, your piece is not the best fit for our magazine.” Instead, I want you to know that we value your work, support you in your work, and read it multiple times.

We were unable to select your work because we only had a few slots to make selections for, out of the hundreds of submissions that we received this period. So, we really focused on the pieces that fit our literary philosophy. We want everyone to know exactly what kind of work that we are looking for: clear, concise, short work that uses familiar language.

Your work did not lack in craft or depth, and I ask that you not think of this rejection as a judge of your merit as a writer. Instead, I personally ask that you send more work during our next submission period.
Until we meet your work again, keep your creative spirit flowing!

[[The above is an actual rejection email. This is why everyone should avoid the arts and go into running guns for terrorists, dog grooming or farming.]]

 

So, why write plays? I don’t know. I have no answer for that crap. I just write. I’m a masochist. Hurt me, world, hurt me.

Wow, pipes cleared now. Back to the Honest Women. See?? This is why I don’t write essays for a living or for a hobby or to help me deal with all the damn voices in my head talking at the same fricking time. Must be a lady, must not cuss. Can I get a fucking amen for that one, boys?

 

Act II– has a decidedly different flavor than Act I. Yay! It’s rather like Into the Woods. Which is a combo of tales twisted together and everyone gets a happy ending– even the Witch gets to be youngish and pretty again, though she loses her powers. Those that deserve it got punished. The stepsisters, for instance. If you have no idea what I’m talking about or have never heard of Sondheim’s Into the Woods–GO WATCH IT RIGHT NOW. Not the movie version that came out, either. [Meryl Streep was good, James Cordon was enjoyable but they took out everything that made that play work so well on a stage. For instance, they made the two princes nicer. No!! NO!! That second reprise of Agony gone! God damn it, why??] The stage version, with Bernadette Peters as the Witch. That one. Now, why am I blathering on about this…oh, yeah. So! My play, tee hee, has a very different style-wise Act I versus Act II feel.

Like Into the Woods does. The happy endings we saw in Act I fall apart in Act II and it’s not pretty or nice. Which made some people not like this musical. I love this musical. [Can you tell??] I love the songs, I love the story. That’s my critical take on it. Because this post isn’t a critique of Into the Woods. It’s all about me and my brand spanking new play [a joyous romp, not an angry dirge because you can be a feminist as long as you stand on your head and get a pie in the kisser while wearing a tiny bikini and smiling a lot] on hell, women, forgiveness, and female stereotypes. My Act II sparkles and shines like a vending machine plastic diamond ring! I think it ends with the nonsense word–merp. Intrigued yet?? Do you want to sit through an entire evening watching women kvetch about the Breakfast Club, forgiveness, and American values?

As the poisonous toxicity of America right now permeates me like an army of ghost penises, leaving rancid little seed bundles in my shirking, repulsed soul.

Okay!

I won’t go into a Gilmore girls season six/seven rant. I had one, I deleted it. Thank me later! A beaver ate my thumb. It’s a catchy little tune. I sing it at odd moments and then go, what song is that? And then I sit down and write snarling feminist screams disguised as romps set in hell. A hell that’s rather cutesy and non-threatening, of course. Yay!!

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